CEO of Colombia’s Largest Bank to Deliver Durland Lecture on October 18

Luis Carlos Sarmiento, Jr., MBA ’85 will discuss value creation in times of mass destruction

CEO of Colombia’s Largest Bank to Deliver Durland Lecture on October 18

The 25th Durland Lecture—Johnson’s most prestigious speaking engagement—will be delivered on Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Luis Carlos Sarmiento, Jr., MBA ’85, president and CEO of Grupo Aval S.A. Sarmiento will speak at 4:30 p.m. in the Statler Auditorium on the Cornell University campus. 

Grupo Aval is Colombia’s largest and most profitable banking company, representing more than a third of the banking industry in that country. In a talk entitled “Look Who Emerged While You Weren’t Looking: Value Creation in Times of Mass Destruction,” Sarmiento will offer a unique perspective on the rapidly-growing Colombian economy, the dynamic Latin American banking sector, and the entrepreneurial moves that have allowed Grupo Aval to increase its market share, in the midst of a global recession.

Sarmiento joins recent speakers, including N.R. Narayana Murthy of Infosys, in bringing a unique perspective on globalization to Johnson. As one of Colombia’s foremost businesspeople, Sarmiento will cast light on his country’s remarkable economic performance and explain why Colombia is a legitimate global economic player.

As CEO of Grupo Aval, Sarmiento will also speak to the strategies that have allowed the company to expand its ambitions, from dominating the Colombian market, to becoming a regional player. Given that Grupo Aval seldom offers insights into its strategy and operations, listening to Sarmiento. is a unique opportunity to learn more about this enigmatic, highly successful bank.

The Durland Lecture series was initiated in 1983 by Roy H. Park - late chairman of Park Communications - and a group of donors. Durland series lecturers have included Thomas W. Jones, co-chairman and CEO of Citigroup’s SSB Citi Asset Management Group, Abby Joseph Cohen, managing director of Goldman, Sachs & Company, Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, and Lucio A. Noto, chairman and CEO of Mobil Corporation.


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